Top 10 Dribblers in La Liga This Season
La Liga is not short on talent. Aside from boasting two of the best players the world has ever seen—Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi—the division is filled with skilled players.
Attacking football is what the fans crave, and Spain leaves them fully satisfied. Both the top and the bottom of the league table are comprised of teams carrying players of supreme technical ability. One such ability is running with the ball.
As Messi displays on a weekly basis, sometimes the best way around the opposition is to glide right by them. But apart from the brilliant Argentine, who are the league's most prolific dribblers?
As judged by the number of completed dribbles per game, here are the top 10. All statistical information is derived from WhoScored.com, which collects data on successful dribbles. Read on to see the results so far.
The Brazilian phenom has finally earned some starts, and his increase in playing time has been accompanied by an increase in mazy dribbles. Neymar boasts 2.8 successful dribbles per game, good enough for No. 10 on this list.
Despite his wiry frame, Neymar's incredible bursts of speed help him blow by defenders on a regular basis. Throw in loads of tricks, flicks and skills, and the forward is one of the most exciting players on the planet.
Barcelona are off to yet another hot start, and Neymar's acclimation to the European game will only enhance their chances of success this year. Look for the 21-year-old to move up this list as the season goes on.
Andres Iniesta, Barcelona
Andre Iniesta boasts an average of 2.8 dribbles per game, making him the ninth best dribbler in La Liga. The midfielder has been keeping close control in possession for years, transitioning flawlessly between his duties with Barcelona and the national side.
Iniesta dictates play throughout the Barca midfield along with his compatriot Xavi. Though he boasts consistent passing in his game, Iniesta is far more dynamic on the ball—slipping in and out of the opposition inconspicuously.
His humble demeanor has not stopped the press from lauding his efforts—Iniesta placed third in FIFA's Ballon d'Or voting last year.
Yacine Brahimi, Granada
Yacine Brahimi slides into this list at No. 8 with 3 dribbles per game. Granada may be near the wrong end of the table, but Brahimi's performances have been impressive.
The 23-year-old can function anywhere across the midfield line but specializes in attack. The playmaker has yet to score for his club but his skill can change the game at any moment.
Despite growing up in Paris and playing as a youth international nearly 50 times for France, Brahimi made the decision to play for Algeria this past February. If he can add goals to his dribbling talent, he will be pivotal to Granada's hopes this campaign.
Daniel Parejo, Valencia
The former Real Madrid midfielder enters the countdown at No. 7 with an average of 3 dribbles per game. At just 24 years of age, Parejo has already played for Madrid, QPR, Getafe and Valencia.
His first season at the Mestalla was rather unsuccessful and Parejo struggled to find a spot in the crowded midfield. Despite his early struggles, the No. 21 bounced back last season by making 27 league appearances. One goal and three assists might be humble statistics, but Parejo's real asset is in his skill on the ball and keeping possession.
As Valencia attempt to recover from the loss of major talent in the last several years, look for Parejo to lead them in the middle of the pitch.
Omar Ramos, Real Valladolid
Omar Ramos comes in at No. 6 with a remarkable 3.3 dribbles per game. The diminutive winger adds life to the game whenever he is on the ball, and has been a terrific asset for Valladolid thus far.
Ramos spent last season on loan with Valladolid and made 34 appearances for the club during the campaign. He can now call the club his official home, and has made a solid start to life with Los Pucelanos by making three starts.
At 25 years of age, Ramos still has time to develop his game.
Carles Gil, Elche
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Another Valencia product, Carles Gil arrives at No. 5 with 3.3 dribbles per game. On loan with newly promoted Elche, Gil has been a consistent performer for Los Franjiverdes, making four consecutive starts in the midfield.
His close control and holding of the ball are his trademarks, and at just 20 years of age, Gil has a bright future. Not only is the man the fifth most successful dribbler in La Liga, but he boasts a remarkable 88.3-percent passing rate.
Elche might have trouble staying up this season, but it won't be due to Gil's efforts. Look for Valencia to call their playmaker back within the next year or so.
Diego Perotti, Sevilla
One of three Argentinians on this list, Diego Perotti has carved out a fine career for Sevilla over the past few years. Successfully completing 3.3 dribbles per game, Perotti arrives at No. 4 on this list.
Despite earning just two caps for his national team, Perotti has been a consistent performer in La Liga. He is a bit slight and prone to injury, which has prevented the him from continuing his development. The midfielder only managed to make nine starts for Sevilla last term but is looking to improve that tally this season.
At age 25, he still has plenty of time to mesmerize crowds with his close control.
With a whopping 4 dribbles per game, Suso begins our top three countdown. The 19-year-old is on loan from Liverpool, but has already made a name for himself in La Liga. In his impressive debut against Villarreal, Suso was the team's most successful passer in the final third.
The attacking midfielder has been deployed on both the left and the right side, capable of cutting in and running at the opposition. Suso is a Spanish youth international, and in a few years could very well make the senior squad.
Suso has already notched two assists on the year, and that tally is sure to rise throughout the season. His dribbling skills and youthful energy give Almeria an added dimension when moving the ball forward.
Ever Banega, Valencia
With 4.2 dribbles per game, Ever Banega is the second-best dribbler in La Liga. The Argentinian has accumulated over 100 appearances for Valencia and is a staple in their midfield.
The No. 10 is generally deployed as an attacking midfielder—with great success. Banega has assisted twice this campaign, despite notching just four all of last season. He is still relatively young—age 25—but has already amassed 20 caps and two goals for his national side.
Valencia will surely be put to the test this season, but Banega and his dribbling skills will keep them looking good.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona
5.7 dribbles per game.
Simply unbelievable. Lionel Messi is unstoppable, and all statistics seem to back up this claim. Not only does the little forward have 6 goals and an assist this year, but he has done it with style.
His close control and ability to run at defenders is something the world has never seen before. Even if he were a poor finisher, Messi would be one of the all-time greats purely based on his dribbling talent. Throw in an 84.2-percent pass completion rate and it borders on unfair.
Messi is in his prime, and could be for the next several years. Not only is he the most prolific goalscorer in the league, but the Argentinian can officially claim to be the most successful dribbler in La Liga.